Lake Nipigon – A Midsummer’s Cruise – Short Film

Just a short blog regarding a wonderful cruise I had the opportunity to take this summer as a part of my parents 55th Wedding Anniversary. Many members of the family were in attendance and we had a quaint celebration at the local Community Hall in McDiarimid, Ontario a.k.a Rocky Bay or, as it is now known, Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishinaabek First Nation. The community is nestled in Pitijawabik Bay on the southeastern shore of Lake Nipigon. In any event, I just wanted to document the trip, seeing as I hadn’t been on the lake for sometime. Nothing complicated. Just took in the scenery. No narration. Just the events of the cruise as it unfolded. Incidentally, I also took it on as a challenge for myself as a documentary filmmaker. In all I took 80 shot periodically throughout the trip, bearing in mind I didn’t want to do a lot of editing. All shots were utilized. I edited in my mind as I shot. Only some fine cuts were required upon returning home. I’m happy with the results. Hope you enjoy it!

It’s evident, a great day on the lake was had by all! Special thanks to our Captain, and my cousin, Harold who made it all possible and made my parents anniversary that much more memorable. Also, along for the ride were my siblings Ernest, Brian, Bernadette and Vivian, along with her son Lennox. Also, in attendance were my cousin Dorothy and her husband Gilbert.

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Depicted above is a painting by my very talented brother Brian, who painted this on the occasion of my folks 50th anniversary. It won him much recognition as a renowned portrait painter in a Canada-wide portrait contest. To learn more about his work, you can visit his blog here!

Incidentally, three generation – well now four – given my nephew was along for the ride, have enjoyed the magnificent scenery and the flora and fauna that surround this large freshwater lake. This is the lake the original inhabitants – the Ojibway – once called Animbiigoong, meaning ” waters that extends [over the horizon].” Though some sources claim the name may also be translated as ‘deep, clear water”. In my estimation, both apply. In any event, my grandfather fished the lake back in the day when commercial fishing was thriving. Though thought of as a reserve, Rock Bay was actually a good mixture of both Aboriginal and persons of European decent that partook in the economy of the lake during its heyday as a fishing village. Many of the Europeans, btw were of Nordic extraction.

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And finally, credit for the music can be attributed to Mike Hardy, a former Rocky Bay/ MacDiarmid resident, who grew up with my Dad. I recently was given an old cassette that I turned into a CD and when I was looking for music for this short film, I thought this to be appropriate. My father, who is a great guitar picker himself would have also been appropriate, but I’m saving that for a later production. Incidentally, it is said, that in order to be accepted into the community, you pretty well had to have some musical talent. A guitar, fiddle, accordion and even a good knowledge of the spoons were your passport into the community. Cause after a long week of fishing on the lake the weekend provided ample opportunity for kitchen parties were musical jams abounded – along with sipping on Grandad’s Hooch! That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed your visit!

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SOME FACTS

– Often referred to as Canada’s sixth Great Lake, Lake Nipigon has a total area (including islands within the lake) of 4,848 km2 (1,872 sq mi)

– The lake is noted for its towering cliffs and unusual green-black sand beaches composed of the fine particles of a dark green mineral known as pyroxene.

– The French Jesuit first visited the area as early as 1667.

– The main line of the Canadian National Railway runs to the north of the lake at Armstrong. Another branch, now defunct – The Kinghorn/ CNR runs through Macdiarmid/ Rocky Bay.

– The first nations CBC TV series Spirit Bay was filmed on the lake at Macdiarmid/ Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishnabek First Nation Reserve in the mid-1980s.

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2 Comments on “Lake Nipigon – A Midsummer’s Cruise – Short Film”

  1. David Thompson Says:

    Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Michon 🙂
    Thanks Clarence for the great video of your family, Lake Nipigon and the nostalogic music of Mike Hardy Sr.

  2. Paul Paquin Says:

    Thanks for posting your video on youtube. Inspite of its enormous
    size and exotic location (that is just north of Lake Superior) this lake is not very well known and I appreciate a glimpse at one of
    Canada’s largest and cleanest lakes.


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